Leander Dendoncker’s fine volley saw Wolves finally break down Fulham

Wolves moved a step closer to a seventh-placed Premier League finish and potentially European football next season as Leander Dendoncker’s volley gave the hosts victory over Fulham at Molineux.

After a largely frustrating 75 minutes, Joao Moutinho played in Matt Doherty down the right for the defender to curl in a fine cross that Dendoncker emphatically smashed inside the near post.

Superb Wolves forward Diogo Jota went close four times, twice sliding wide and twice drawing fine saves from Fulham keeper Sergio Rico, while Dendoncker also hit the bar with a header.

The already-relegated visitors should have taken the lead on 62 minutes but Aleksandar Mitrovic scooped his first-time effort over the bar after he was picked out in the middle by Ryan Sessegnon.

Wolves will be guaranteed of finishing seventh in their first season after promotion if Leicester fail to beat Premier League leaders Manchester City on Monday.

If Nuno Espirito Santo’s side do secure seventh and City subsequently beat Watford in the FA Cup final, then Wolves will land a Europa League spot next season, returning to Europe after a 39-year wait.

Dendoncker ensures rousing end to home finale

Wolves have oddly struggled against struggling sides this season, having lost six of their 11 previous matches against teams in the bottom six heading into that round of fixtures.

For long periods of this game, it looked like a compact but limited Fulham would add a goalless draw to that record but Wolves were determined not to let their last home game be a disappointment after a season of thrilling matches at Molinuex.

Jota weaved his way past Fulham defenders all afternoon, picking up a yellow card for simulation early on, but more often drawing fouls and getting his team surging forward on the counter-attack.

In the first half, a brilliant flick from Raul Jimenez led to Jota forcing Rico to palm it round corner, before he got past his man and slid wide across goal with his left foot.

He similarly slipped a left-footed effort beyond the far post after the break and then saw a brilliant volley pushed onto the bar by Rico as the Portuguese ultimately failed to get the goal his performance deserved.

But Dendoncker broke through. Having seen his header from a corner rebound off the bar in the first half, the Belgium midfielder showed excellent technique to volley the ball from just behind his body and edge Wolves towards the highest finish for a promoted side since Ipswich came fifth in 2000-01.

More to follow.

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